Canon T8i Review
|Full model name:||Canon EOS Rebel T8i (EOS 850D)|
(22.3mm x 14.9mm)
|Viewfinder:||Optical / LCD|
|Native ISO:||100 - 25,600|
|Extended ISO:||100 - 51,200|
|Shutter:||1/4000 - 30 sec|
|Max Aperture:||4.0 (kit lens)|
5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 in.
(131 x 103 x 76 mm)
|Full specs:||Canon T8i specifications|
Canon T8i Preview -- First Impressions
by William Brawley
Preview posted: 02/13/2020
Mirrorless might be getting all the attention these days, but there's still a place in the photo world for the classic, tried-and-true DSLR. For those beginner- to intermediate-level photographers, the new Canon Rebel T8i offers reliable image quality and performance features for both stills and video in a lightweight and easy-to-use camera body.
Coming in as successor to the Rebel T7i from 2017, the new T8i provides an altogether familiar compact DSLR form factor and a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor. However, it does offer some nice upgrades thanks to its faster image processor and updated metering system. There's faster burst shooting, better video formats and upgraded autofocus, with Face Detection even in viewfinder shooting, as well as Eye Detection in Live View.
As with previous models, the Rebel T8i serves as Canon's most advanced model within its Rebel series of entry-level-focused DSLRs. Priced at $750 body-only, the Canon T8i isn't the most basic or bare-bones Rebel camera, but rather it packs a healthy dose of advanced features and performance for a generally affordable price point.
Let's dive in to get a full tour of the new Canon T8i...
Key Features & Specs
- Compact DSLR design with articulated touchscreen display
- Updated controls with AF-ON button & rear Quick Control Dial
- 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF
- Up to 7fps continuous burst shooting
- 4K UHD video at 24p; 4K UHD timelapse at 30p
- Full HD video up to 60p
- New 220K-pixel AE metering sensor with EOS iTR AF Face Detection
- Face + Eye Detection AF with Live View
- Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- $749.99 body-only; $899.99 with EF-S 18-55mm F4-5.6 IS STM kit
As mentioned, the T8i shares a very similar design as its predecessor. The super-compact DSLR camera offers that traditional shape with center-mounted viewfinder and protruding, contoured handgrip. Like most Rebel-series cameras, the camera is so small that it lacks room for a top-deck info screen like most larger DSLR cameras. Nevertheless, the camera features plenty of external, physical controls, including a few new items not found on the previous model.
On the rear of the camera, the T8i features a more-or-less similar array of controls, with some modest changes. Gone are the Aperture/Exposure compensation and standalone "Wi-Fi" buttons (though the camera still features Wi-Fi connectivity). New features include an AF-ON button for increased focus control and functionality, such as back-button focusing. The camera now also includes a rear control dial, called the Quick Control Dial. Most Canon DSLRs offer a top-deck control dial and a rear one, but the majority of prior Rebel cameras lacked this secondary rear control. Despite the addition of a rear dial, this circular control still offers 4-way button functionality with numerous setting options, like White Balance, AF mode and Burst/Self-Timer settings.
The rear touchscreen remains unchanged with a 3.0-inch 1.04-million-dot TFT LCD panel that offers full articulation, including a front-facing position. The optical viewfinder, too, is similar, providing approximately 95 percent field coverage, a 0.82x magnification, 19mm eyepoint and -3 to +1 diopter adjustment.
Moving to the top-deck of the camera, here again the overall control layout is largely unchanged. However, Canon has simplified the Mode Dial down to fewer settings -- standard PASM exposure modes and three automatic or scene-related shooting modes, a nice touch for anyone prefering a less cluttered approach.
The Canon T8i is based around the same 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor as in the T7i and features on-screen phase-detection AF, aka Dual Pixel CMOS AF in this case. However, paired with this sensor is an all-new DIGIC 8 image processor, though the T8i, nevertheless, maintains the same ISO sensitivity range as the previous model. Native ISO spans from ISO 100 to 25,600, with a higher extended ISO at 51,200.
As with its predecessor, the Canon T8i offers manual and priority exposure modes with several Picture Style options as well as fully automatic shooting modes with various Scene modes and Creative Filters. Images are captured in either (or both) RAW and JPEG formats, however the T8i now offers a new Canon RAW format, C-RAW, which is a lossy compressed format. You still have higher image quality potential and more post-processing flexibility than with JPEG files, but you get some space-saving benefits compared to standard uncompressed RAW files. Keep in mind, the T8i still offers standard RAW shooting, as well.
On the video side of things, the T8i offers improved features over the T7i thanks to the new image processor. The camera now features 4K UHD video at 24p, whereas the predecessor only offered up to 1080p video. Additionally, the T8i includes a timelapse movie feature that can create high-res timelapse movies directly in-camera (offered at both 4K UHD and 1080p at 30p). Of course, Full HD and 720p HD video modes are also offered, with frame rates for 1080p offered in 24, 30 and 60p for NTSC, while 720p is available at just 60p. Furthermore, there is an HDR Movie option for 1080p30 as well as the ability to shoot Full HD videos using Creative Filters (offered in both 24p and 30p).
The majority of video resolutions and framerates utilize the IPB compression scheme (inter-frame compression). And a more compressed IPB Light option is also available for 1080p30 video. Both 4K and 1080p Timelapse movie mode uses the higher-quality ALL-I intra-frame compression scheme. All video modes other than timelapse movie use the MP4 format (time-lapse is .MOV) with MPEG-4/H.264 encoding. Stereo audio is recorded in AAC format.
Autofocus is available in video mode, with Dual Pixel CMOS AF offered for Full HD and HD modes. However, the camera uses contrast-detection AF for 4K video; Dual Pixel CMOS AF is not available.
As with most Canon cameras, continuous video recording time, regardless of video resolution, is limited to 29 minutes, 59 secs.
Autofocus & Performance
In terms of autofocus, the Canon T8i offers both a traditional through-the-viewfinder phase-detection AF system as well as phase-detect AF in Live View thanks to the on-sensor Dual Pixel CMOS AF system.
While the number of AF points in the viewfinder focusing system remains the same as in the previous model at 45 all cross-type point, the camera is updated with a newer metering system and Canon's EOS Intelligent Tracking and Recognition (EOS iTR AF) system to offer face detection tracking, even when using the optical viewfinder -- a feature not typically seen in DSLRs.
The camera features a variety of AF area modes, including single-point, Zone AF (all pointed divided into nine groupings), Large Zone AF (all points divided into three groupings) and Automatic selection AF (all 45 points are active). Within the Automatic Selection AF mode is where the EOS iTR AF and the Face Detection comes into play, and the camera will detect and automatically focus on faces it detects in the scene.
For Live View focusing, as mentioned, the T8i features Canon's popular Dual Pixel CMOS AF system with on-sensor phase-detection pixels. The camera offers fast and accurate live view focusing without the sluggish and often-distracting "wobbling" of contrast-detection AF systems. The T7i was the first Rebel-series camera with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, but the T8i offers a small, yet pleasing performance upgrade with the addition of Eye Detection AF in Servo AF mode. The camera can now detect and track both faces and eyes in Live View focusing for more precise and accurate focusing for portraiture and other scenes containing people's faces.
Connectivity, Battery & Storage
As far as ports, connectivity, battery and storage components are all concerned, the hardware here inside the T8i is more or less identical to the T7i. The T8i once again features a single UHS-I-compatible SD card slot, a 3.5mm microphone jack (though no headphone jack), a USB 2.0 Micro-B connector and a Type-C Mini-HDMI port that now supports HDR output via the HDMI to compatible HDR TVs.
There's also a fully compatible hot shoe for use with Canon Speedlight flash systems.
In terms of power, the T8i runs on the same LP-E17 rechargeable lithium-ion battery as the predecessor. Nevertheless, battery life is rated better on this newer model, with CIPA-based numbers (at 50% flash use) stated at 800 shots per charge with the OVF and 310 with Live View -- up from 600 (OVF) and 270 (Live View) on the T7i. Canon, meanwhile, also claims that without flash, you can get up to ~1240 shots (OVF) and ~360 (Live View) on a single charge.
Pricing & Availability
While an exact availability date is still unknown at this time, the Canon Rebel T8i camera body has an estimated retail price of $749.99 and the kit with an EF-S 18-55mm F4-5.6 IS STM lens has an estimated retail price of $899.99.